Reviews

The Heart Principle, by Helen Hoang

belles_bookishlife's review against another edition

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5.0

Wow. This was incredible. Easily my favourite in the trilogy.

After being let down by the bride test I was weary going into this one, but man was I wrong. This novel packed in so many important discussions while remaining true to the content and I’m so thankful.
While all three books deal with autism, this last one in the trilogy is definitely heavier and not a romcom. This novel touches autism diagnosis, trauma, autistic burnout, and so much more.

From the very first novel I knew Quan’s story would be my favourite. He was so lovable and wonderful in the first book and I found he carried the second, so for him to have his own book is amazing. This book takes place a while after the bride test and because of that, we see Quran in a new light after undergoing something very traumatic. The way he deals with this trauma and then new layers that it brought to his story were so well done and I was blown away by the tact and care put into his character.

As for Ana, she had my heart and soul. This poor girl had been through it and continues to be pushed through the ringer during the entirety of the novel. I appreciate that the author didn’t make her healing process fast, it was realistic and non-linear, taking over two years in its entirety for her to heal. Because of this, this book is very emotionally heavy so be aware of that.

The depictions of toxic family members went a long way to add depth to the story, and while the spice was incredible, it was also done sparingly and each scene had a purpose. This is definitely less Spivey than the last two books, but in my opinion much more well crafted.

While this is a romance, the romance almost felt like more of a subplot which for once, I felt was perfect. At its core this book is about a woman learning about herself and how to stand up for what she believes in and how to stand up for who she wants to love. This was incredible.

While I loved this there are absolutely lots of trigger warnings so please check them before going foreword because i wasn’t fully prepared.

TW: ableism, autism diagnosis, autism burnout, cancer, trauma, racism, death of a loved one, toxic family, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, depression, suicidal ideation (alluded to)

illusie's review against another edition

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3.0

This is not a romcom like the rest of the series, it's different. I don't think you can even call it a romance. Maybe the first part, but after that the book changes. I was told it would be different, yet it surprised me HOW different it was. I think this book should have been a standalone, since it doesn't fit with the series. There are very different themes in this book compared to the others. Also some sames ones, but this book is a whole different genre. It's a hard book to rate, since I have conflicting feeling about it. The romance part didn't really work for me, something felt missing. Anna showed character development, but her not being herself and not being able to say no was frustrating. Quan was a great, very sweet and patience. Just what Anna needed. Though I'd have liked it more if we got to know Quan better. He seems to disappear for a big part of te book. Yes he is still mentioned, but yet seemed to have a small role. Part of the book was emotional, and heartbreaking. The different parts of the book are so different that it is hard for me to see them as a whole.

laurenafflerback's review against another edition

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5.0

I got this as my August book of the month and I am SO glad I did.

I have read Helen Hoang’s other books and loved them but this one. This one is my favorite. I felt myself relating to Anna..

lynnreadsbooks's review against another edition

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3.0

I felt like the first 80% and the last 20% were completely different books. The latter portion would get a full five stars from me, but the first portion felt like a remix of Hoang’s first two novels, but with less character development.

princesspb's review against another edition

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3.0

This book was especially frustrating in the wake of Helen Hoang’s two previous home runs. I agree with reviewers saying this book’s marketing was a bait and switch with a shift towards women’s fiction in the second part of the book. The third and final part is much too rushed and offers so little from Quan’s perspective on that time period. Quan’s emotional development in this book could have been given so much more room compared to Anna’s journey.

amissabellator's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Another really phenomenal read from Helen Hoang! She's a master of romance, and with this intimate and powerful look at interpersonal relationships and autistic burnout she has added one more jewel to her crown.

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gabypinata's review against another edition

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dark emotional sad

3.75

ashtea's review against another edition

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5.0

Ugh, this is honestly such an amazing book. It tells a lot of real truths and hurdles you have to go through in a relationship, the insecurities that aren't always mentioned. But also tells a new side of everything from someone who is struggling with their new autism diagnosis, family who chooses to not understand that diagnosis, and the pressure of trying to appease everyone. It was so real (and frustrating at times) yet it felt so close to home.

caitea01's review against another edition

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

sierranevada005's review against another edition

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3.0

I liked this book the least out of all of Helen Hoang's books I've read so far. I really do not like the first person point of view in writing, and while I like the story well enough, I guess it's not my favorite thing to be inside anyone's head! A quick, fun read. Three Stars